A court clerk on Wednesday closed a case against a former Wyoming probation agent after he declined to defend himself against allegations he sent nude photos to a woman he supervised.
Later the same afternoon, the woman’s lawyer stated he will seek monetary damages against Jaret Maul, who worked in the Casper probation office of the Wyoming Department of Corrections. The amount the woman will seek is not yet clear; her lawyer declined to provide a dollar figure to the Star-Tribune, and court documents requesting a hearing on the issue make no indication of the amount.
Maul was a lone defendant in the lawsuit, and he no longer works for the agency. The reason for his departure, however, is not clear. A corrections department spokesman has told the Star-Tribune that privacy of personnel records exempts him from disclosing how and why Maul left the agency in December.
The clerk entered only a paragraph-long document Wednesday stating Maul had been found in default after failing to respond to a civil complaint amended in September.
The determination stemmed from a Monday request by Ian Sandefer, who represents the former probationer, on procedural grounds. Federal courts allow for but do not require entry of such a default.
The attorney general’s office declined to represent Maul, according to the Monday filing. It does not indicate the reason for the decision. It states that Maul’s defense team — consisting of Caleb Wilkins and Terry Connolly of Cheyenne — said it would not answer the amended lawsuit, which was largely consistent with the initial complaint filed in May.
Connolly could not be reached early Wednesday evening for comment.
Following the May filing, Sandefer told the Star-Tribune that his client, Kalee Blazek, who successfully completed probation in a marijuana possession case before bringing the lawsuit, was likely not the only person Maul sexually exploited.
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“In a case like this, it’s really hard to come forward,” Sandefer said in May. “My client is stepping forward to make sure this type of conduct doesn’t happen again.”
The agency investigated Maul in connection with the woman’s allegations, but the outcome of that investigation has not been made public. Maul has not been criminally charged in connection with Blazek’s allegations.
Blazek became involved in the justice system in May 2018, when a Natrona County Circuit Court placed her on probation for a year. She had taken a deferred prosecution agreement offered by prosecutors for a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. Blazek pleaded guilty to the charge, but under the agreement, her conviction would not be entered on the record and would be dismissed if she completed probation successfully. She completed her part of the agreement.
In the lawsuit, Blazek stated that Maul first met her while working at the local probation office and supervising her case.
After she had spent about three months in Maul’s supervision, according to the lawsuit, he told her he would recommend she either be discharged or placed on unsupervised probation, under which she would generally not be required to check in with the agency.
Soon after, the lawsuit states, Maul added her as a “friend” on Snapchat, the social media application known for ephemeral photo messaging. The lawsuit does not directly state how the photos were sent, but makes further reference to the phone app and includes two photos, which it states are “two of the more mundane” that Maul sent Blazek.
One is of Maul wearing a probation and parole lanyard and another of a man — whose face is not fully visible — wearing only underwear, through which the outline of his genitals are visible. For fear of having her probation revoked, the woman responded to Maul with sexual comments and photos, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also alleges that Maul “used his position and authority to exploit (other probationers) for his sexual purposes and gratification.” It does not provide any details regarding allegations made by other probationers.
Maul also told Blazek about “explicit, sexual acts he wished and intended to do to her,” according to the lawsuit. The civil claim alleged Maul violated the woman’s constitutional rights, including her Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.